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Influence of benthic currents on cold-water coral habitats: a combined benthic monitoring and 3D photogrammetric investigation

Journal Article


Abstract


  • Strong currents are a key component of benthic habitats by supplying food and nutrients to filter-feeding organisms such as cold-water corals. Although field measurements show that cold-water coral habitats exist in areas of elevated bottom currents, flume studies show that cold-water corals feed more effectively at lower flow speeds. This research aims to explore this disconnect in situ by utilising high spatial resolution ROV photogrammetric data coupled with high temporal resolution in situ acoustic doppler current profile measurements at seven study sites within the upper Porcupine Bank Canyon (uPBC), NE Atlantic. Object-based image analysis of photogrammetric data show that coral habitats vary considerably within the upper canyon. Although there is a regional hydrodynamic trend across the uPBC, this variation is likely driven locally by topographic steering. Although live coral tends not to face directly into the prevailing current direction, preferring lower local flows speeds, they can tolerate exposure to high-flow speeds of up to 114��cm��s���1, the highest recorded in a Desmophyllum pertusum habitat. Not only do these high flow speeds supply food and nutrients, they may also help contribute to coral rubble production through physical erosion. These results can be incorporated into simulations of future deep-water habitat response to changing environmental conditions while extending the upper current speed threshold for cold-water corals.

UOW Authors


  •   Price, David (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Lim, A., Wheeler, A. J., Price, D. M., O���Reilly, L., Harris, K., & Conti, L. (2020). Influence of benthic currents on cold-water coral habitats: a combined benthic monitoring and 3D photogrammetric investigation. Scientific Reports, 10(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-020-76446-y

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85095734215

Web Of Science Accession Number


Volume


  • 10

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication


Abstract


  • Strong currents are a key component of benthic habitats by supplying food and nutrients to filter-feeding organisms such as cold-water corals. Although field measurements show that cold-water coral habitats exist in areas of elevated bottom currents, flume studies show that cold-water corals feed more effectively at lower flow speeds. This research aims to explore this disconnect in situ by utilising high spatial resolution ROV photogrammetric data coupled with high temporal resolution in situ acoustic doppler current profile measurements at seven study sites within the upper Porcupine Bank Canyon (uPBC), NE Atlantic. Object-based image analysis of photogrammetric data show that coral habitats vary considerably within the upper canyon. Although there is a regional hydrodynamic trend across the uPBC, this variation is likely driven locally by topographic steering. Although live coral tends not to face directly into the prevailing current direction, preferring lower local flows speeds, they can tolerate exposure to high-flow speeds of up to 114��cm��s���1, the highest recorded in a Desmophyllum pertusum habitat. Not only do these high flow speeds supply food and nutrients, they may also help contribute to coral rubble production through physical erosion. These results can be incorporated into simulations of future deep-water habitat response to changing environmental conditions while extending the upper current speed threshold for cold-water corals.

UOW Authors


  •   Price, David (external author)

Publication Date


  • 2020

Citation


  • Lim, A., Wheeler, A. J., Price, D. M., O���Reilly, L., Harris, K., & Conti, L. (2020). Influence of benthic currents on cold-water coral habitats: a combined benthic monitoring and 3D photogrammetric investigation. Scientific Reports, 10(1). doi:10.1038/s41598-020-76446-y

Scopus Eid


  • 2-s2.0-85095734215

Web Of Science Accession Number


Volume


  • 10

Issue


  • 1

Place Of Publication